Fish Post

Pamlico/Neuse – October 10, 2019

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Donald, of Custom Marine Fabrication, reports that speckled trout fishing has been great from New Bern down to Oriental. Anglers have had success in targeting the main river banks and creek mouths with soft plastics under popping corks. This bite has been good all summer, and cooler water temperatures along with the schools of bait pushing out of creeks should notch the bite up even more.

Puppy drum are mixed in these same areas. They’re also hitting Carolina-rigged live and cut bait.

Black drum are being caught with Carolina-rigged shrimp from areas around shoreline structure and docks.

Citation-class red drum are being landed around shoals in the lower stretches of the Neuse. Popping cork rigs paired with large 5+” soft plastics have been working well when cast around bait balls and edges of the shoals. Anglers fishing in the evenings have brought in a few fish while bait fishing with fresh mullet on Lupton rigs.

Kristy Anderson with a speckled trout caught using a white 4″ Z-Man soft plastic under a popping cork in the Pamlico Sound. She was fishing with Capt. Aaron Beatson of Carolina Sunrise Fishing.

Gary, of Spec Fever Guide Service, reports that trips in the lower Neuse are still successful in targeting trophy red drum. The large popping cork setups continue to be the top producing method, as anglers jump from shoal to shoal, targeting bait pods flipping on the surface.

Bluefish are also in the mix around these bait pods, and they’re hitting the soft plastics intended for the big reds.

Speckled trout fishing is great on the river banks, with 4” Storm soft plastics fished on jig heads and under corks getting strikes. Anglers should look forward to an amazing fall bite as the cooler water temperatures push these smaller groups of fish together.


James, of Neuse River Adventures, reports that citation red drum fishing has been hot. Anglers are finding good numbers of trophy class fish around bait balls and on shoals while casting large popping cork setups.

Some of the bait balls are also holding very full and fat bluefish being caught on spoons and soft plastics.

Anglers are anticipating a banner month for speckled trout based on the great numbers being caught through the summer and hot water days. The trout are starting to school up with the bait running, and cooler waters get the fish more active.

A few stripers are being caught around shoreline structure, and though it’s been a slower than normal season, the fish enjoy cooler water and will be more active in the coming weeks.

John Riley, of Massachusetts, and Rob Wofchuck, of New Hampshire, with a double hookup on bull drum. The reds were caught on popping corks near Oriental, NC, while fishing with Capt. Kevin Dewar of Three D Charters.

Jennings, of North State Guide Service, reports that anglers have continued to have a great old drum season on the Neuse and Pamlico sounds. Anglers anticipate some of these 40+” fish being caught into October.

Fall fishing is fast approaching, and if this summer was any gauge, it should be an awesome season for speckled trout in both sizes and numbers. Currently, trout are being caught on topwater plugs such as Heddon Spook Jr.’s in the early mornings and late evenings. Transitioning over to MirrOlures and popping corks paired with D.O.A. shrimp has proven very successful once the sun is up.

Rockfish are being caught and released around New Bern, with topwater plugs around structure getting most of the action.


Stephen, of Neuse River Bait and Tackle, reports that trout fishing remains great throughout the region, with large, keeper fish being caught on a wide variety of methods. Topwater anglers are having success on the main river shorelines in the early morning while working MirrOlure Top Pups, Rapala Skitterwalks, and Heddon plugs. Soft plastics are producing a good number of fish, too, with the paddletail Z-Man SwimmerZ in most colors fished under a cork or jig head being a local favorite. Carolina-rigged live baits are also a safe bet with the mullet running this part of the year. Lastly, anglers are reporting action on MirrOlures. Many colors have been producing well, and cooler water temperatures should see the twitch bait action heat up.

Bluefish are being caught around bait balls in the area. Some of the blues in the larger groups in the main river are running up to 3 lbs.

Citation-class red drum (up to 50”) are being caught on the season-favorite Blabber Mouth cork and Z-Man setup while working these same bait balls and ledges along the shoals. Anglers fishing at night with hand-tied Lupton rigs and fresh mullet are also landing fish moving their way along the same ledges.

Striped bass are around, with fish hitting topwater plugs and soft plastics worked along the shoreline and its structure.


Richie, of East Side Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing has been good in lower sections of the Pamlico. Anglers are landing fish using most classic methods, from soft plastics under corks to Carolina-rigged live baits. Topwater plugs are getting action early, and cooler days ahead should see the bite pick up.

A few stripers and puppy drum are mixed in along these same shorelines. They’re hitting similar baits.

Trophy red drum fishing is still happening downriver, and with so much bait in the area, anglers anticipate some fish sticking around a bit longer before pushing out.


Mitchell, of FishIBX, reports that citation red drum are being caught in the lower areas of the Pamlico and out into the sound, though these fish are in transition as they begin their push offshore.

Speckled trout fishing is getting closer to moving to its prime (from now into November). In the next couple weeks, anglers should begin to see a mass migration of the fish as they head north, south, east, and west. Some will be following bait balls, and some fish will be seeking water quality. Anglers are currently seeing the fish school up along river banks and creek mouths. Yee Ha and similar soft plastics on jig heads or under corks work well, and as the water cools, a strong topwater bite should begin to show with consistency.